Horrifying’s golden run of form continued at Flemington on Saturday where he produced another determined performance to narrowly get the better of fellow New Zealand-bred Through Irish Eyes in the Rose Room (2530m).
The five-year-old son of Shocking has responded positively since trainers Mark and Levi Kavanagh have elected to position the talented stayer more prominently, with the tactical change now resulting in Horrifying winning three of his last four starts.
Tavistock gelding Through Irish Eyes had looked unlucky at his previous start when coming off a sedate tempo to finish runner-up to Horrifying.
However, despite that galloper taking a surprise role on-tempo on Saturday, the result proved the same, with Craig Williams deriving the best out of Horrifying to narrowly deny Ethan Brown on the runner-up after a stirring home-straight battle.
“It was fantastic and a great ride by Craig. We didn’t think we would get it as easy as we did last time and that certainly was the case,” Levi Kavanagh said.
“He took a sit and rode him perfectly and it was a really strong and solid effort to finish off in the final stages.
“There’s another 2500m race here in a few weeks’ time so if he is up and about and we’re happy to continue on with him, we might see him here again.
“He’s really come into his own this preparation especially. We have been spacing his runs and keeping him happy and at this stage he is showing us that he is in top order.
The gelding was bred by Rich Hill Stud’s Alan Galbraith and was purchased at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale for $70,000 by Lawrence Eales, who raced his dual Group One-winning sire Shocking.
The winner of five races from 25 starts with a further seven placings, Horrifying advanced his career earnings to $484,002, and the improving stayer was amongst the nominations for both the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m)
Horrifying is out of the Red Ransom mare Zelt, who has a two-year-old filly by Shocking and made a return visit to the stallion last season, and she won a brace of middle-distance events in Australia. Zelt is a half-sister to stakes performer Exchanges and is from an international family that features the Gr.1 English 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner Cape Verdi.